|Amelu Frank’s art is his weapon of choice|
Since he was six years old, Amelu has been using art to pass the message of child rights and corruption to children, communities and the Government. His work has already been published in calendars and magazines (including BINGWA Magazine) and has seen him recently visit Kampala. During the 2014 Day of the African Child celebrations, he presented his work at the Tororo District office. He is also the chairperson of BINGWA Club in his school. A Primary Seven pupil at Morukatipe Primary School in Tororo, Uganda, he talks to us about his passions.
What are some of your passions?
I love studying, interacting with BINGWA club members, arts and crafts.
What inspires you?
My parents and teachers are always there to guide me so I can be a useful member of the community. BINGWA’s educative messages also inspire me. I like highlighting child rights because we all have an obligation to know about our rights and the abuses taking place.
Where do you (regularly) display your work?
My main target is children because they are the future. So, I display my work in schools to encourage the sharing of information on corruption and abuses in the community.
What are you preparing for at the moment?
A debate on child marriage in our community. I am also sensitizing the community about fighting corruption in Africa through drawing, poetry and music.
How do you feel about your achievements at such a young age?
I am very happy, especially when I travel because of my work or when I see my work published. I also like getting prizes such as books, sets, bags and coloured pencils.
How much time do you spend doing art?
We have an art and craft class in school, but sometimes I also work on my art during my free time.
What are some of the challenges you have faced and how did you handle them?
My parents struggle to ensure I get a good education-I am currently in a Government-aided school. I also have a hard time studying at home, getting good medical care and good nutrition. My parents and I have planted some oranges and mangoes to improve on these.
What are your most memorable moments?
Travelling to Kampala for the first time to meet and share a cake with Madam Julie Solberg of Child Africa in 2014, learning that my art work had excited the BINGWA team in Nairobi, Kenya and receiving a letter that stated that I now had a sponsor from America called Madam Makena. Now I believe I have a very bright future ahead of me.
What are your views on corruption and integrity?
Corruption is too common in Africa and is mainly perpetrated by greedy government officials thereby hindering the development of children. Integrity is what makes all the difference in the world. If you have positive thinking and good morals, you are already on the path to greatness.
What are your views on child marriage and what measures would you put in place to ensure it is eliminated?
It is very sad that it is still happening today, hence our debate on ‘parents rather than children are responsible for child marriage’. I would set up stronger laws, order the arrest of adults approving child marriages and ban all places where children watch pornographic videos.
What can school children do to help eliminate child marriage?
Abstaining from sex, joining guidance/counseling clubs and staying in school.
What are some of the important lessons you have learnt so far?
How to fight corruption in Africa while working and interacting with friends at school and the community. I have also learnt that it begins with (us) children because we are the future.
What are your future plans?
To work hard in my studies and become an advocate and a leader of integrity now and in future, to fight corruption and to speak up for the needy.
What is your advice to BINGWA readers?
Love education, work hard, avoid bad peer groups and make a difference in your communities.
My mentors are: My teachers, parents, opinion leaders and BINGWA readers.
What it takes to excel in my field: Talent and passion for others.
Favourite subjects in school: English, art and craft.
Favourite colour: Blue (for love) and green (for life).
Favourite music: Local educative songs like ‘Kaleke Kasome’ (Let her study) by Maurice Hasa.
Best advice ever received: To remain in school, work hard, fight corruption and make a difference. The BINGWA champion song also has a great message especially the words ‘Everywhere I go, I make a difference, everywhere I go, I fight corruption’.
Favourite book /magazine: BINGWA Magazine and anything on fighting corruption.
Favourite authors: BINGWA champions.
Last words: Thank you my dear fellow children, parents, teachers, Madam Julie of Child Africa and the Foundation for Open Development, Tororo for the support and encouragement to ensure I succeed in future.
First published in BINGWA Magazine Issue 14 2015.